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Massive star explosion captured in NASA photo

Jan. 9, 2013 at 5:08 PM  |  Updated Jan. 9, 2013 at 5:19 PM   |   Comments

Jan. 9 (UPI) -- NASA's NuSTAR spacecraft (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) captured the aftermath of a massive star explosion. As a result, we got this beautiful image of the historical supernova remnant Cassiopeia-A, located 11,000 light-years away, NASA reported Wednesday.

According to NASA, light from the explosion that created this dead star must have reached earth 300 years ago after 11,000 years of travel, and though the star is long dead, its remains are still "bursting with action."

"The outer blue ring is where the shock wave from the supernova blast is slamming into surrounding material, whipping particles up to within a fraction of a percent of the speed of light," NASA wrote. "NuSTAR observations should help solve the riddle of how these particles are accelerated to such high energies."

NASA launched NuSTAR in 2012 on a two year mission to look for the high-energy regions of the universe.

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